Posted by: Tiffany | March 25, 2010

Claymore

I have to say, that this was by far my favorite anime I’ve ever seen.

Most little synopsises you find online aren’t very clear about what’s actually going on, so I’ll try to be a bit more clear on the matter.

Claymore takes place in a world (just so we’re clear, I mean moreso an alternate reality of our own world) where demons and humans co-exist. That’s basically how I can sum it up. There isn’t really a whole lot of co-existing going on to speak of, as these demons — or as the show calls them, yoma, tend to eat people. Kinda like your classic werewolf I suppose. They go around and quite literally eat people. They can look just like humans or show their true form, which looks a bit like a really muscular bald guy with some crazy aligator teeth and snake eyes. Basically, these yoma are terrorizing people, feeding on them like, well… food. So, at some point prior to the timeline of this show, an organization was founded from the mixing of the bloodlines. A human and a yoma. From them, came the silver eyed witch half breeds that would become known as Claymores – not by their personal choice, mind you. It was moreso just something they were called because of the huge swords they carry around. They don’t call really call themselves anything. People call them either Claymores or Silver Eyed Witches, because, well… they have silver eyes, and they’re very… very… not human. They may look human on the outside, but they really have a creepy evil presence about them that just scares people, it’s their coldness. They’re also half yoma themselves, so that just adds extra reason for people to fear them. They have the power of a yoma, and the real gift of the Claymores, the gift that makes them so valuable, is those silver eyes of theirs. They can see a yoma even when the yoma is in human form. They are the only ones that can. It is for that reason that they are tasked with killing these yoma to protect people.

Of course, nothing’s free. They don’t go around killing yoma out of the goodness of their heart. Once a request for a Claymore is sent, a Claymore will come and either the Claymore will be dead on the street or the yoma will, but either way, they’ll definitely know the outcome very soon. If the Claymore fails, the town can keep their money. But if the Claymore succeeds, the town must pay a price according to the number of yoma that were slain. But the Claymore never accepts this money. No, a mysterious man wearing black comes by after the Claymore has gone and collects this fee, and they are to give it to them. The Claymore doesn’t care if they don’t pay, that’s up to them. But if they don’t, then the next time that town has a yoma problem and cries out for help, no Claymore will come. It’s likely the town will be wiped out by a horde of yoma quite rather quickly once that fact is made public.

And well, that is the basic premise of the show. There’s a lot more to it than that, and by a lot, I mean a lot! Like I said, it’s the best anime I’ve ever seen. At the time of writing this, I’ve only seen around 70 anime series and I guess that’s a decent number, but out of those, Claymore definitely ranked at the very top. You’ll be excited, you’ll be entertained, you’ll fall in love with the characters, you’ll get angry from time to time and you’ll even cry your eyes out. But… just a bit. Overall, you’re really going to be entertained. There is a ton of action in this anime. If you like fight scenes, this definitely has them. We’re in a medieval type era here, so if you like the whole sword fighting and monsters/demons theme, you’re really gonna like this.

If you do watch it, you really have to at least watch up past Teresa of the Faint Smile’s entire story – it comes pretty early on. Somehow she’s become my favorite anime character and I’m not sure why. There’s just something about her… And her story’s very moving, it really draws you in. You’ll definitely remember it throughout the entire anime.

But, this one, it really has it all. But if you don’t like tons of gore and constant action and fighting, then you probably won’t like it too much. This series revolves around all female leads — there’s one male character, he’s whiny and you’ll hate him (probably… maybe not. I did…), but I really wouldn’t call him a lead. More of a supporting character. Well, he’s sort’ve a lead at some points… But the story’s really about Clare.

I think that’s enough to give you an idea if you’re going to like it or not. Obviously I give this anime 10/10 all the way. But, if you’re into this sort’ve thing, then give it a shot. If not, then don’t worry about it. I could go on forever about Claymore, but I’d be getting into some major spoilers real fast if I got any deeper. 😉

Oh as another little point I just thought of adding… Claymore does have a definite ending, unlike some animes. And while watching it, you definitely feel like it was well made. The fight sequences were all beautiful and amazing, and the animation was superb. The animation itself also makes it seem like you’re not really watching an anime per se, but somehow it felt kinda more… “American” to me. I don’t know what I mean by that, it just looks really good I guess, and maybe a bit more realic than most. There’s no ecchi, chibi, or anything over the top, there’s nothing added in for humor. It keeps a very serious tone throughout. The dub is amazing, and I watched it with the dub, so that probably further attributes to that. But, even if you don’t really like anime, you could probably get into this. It just kinda has that kinda feel to it for me.

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Posted by: Tiffany | March 25, 2010

Blood+

If you love vampires, sword fighting, female leads, and some all around bad-assed-ness, then you’re gonna love this series.

Blood+ is basically about a world where a bunch of blood sucking monsters (a bit like you’d imagine a really big nasty looking Gremlin), roam the streets and are randomly sucking people dry. Of course, the general population never knows this is going on, it’s just covered up as random happenings and the bodies are never released. Well, unfortunately the only organization that can save civilization from annihilation is the Red Shield, a highly organized privately funded organization designed to fight these monsters, and the only weapon that can destroy them just happens to be… Saya.

Saya’s just an ordinary girl in highschool. Or, so she thought. She actually didn’t remember any of her past except the past year of her life, but she was really enjoying her life with her new family who’d adopted her a year ago. Well, it turns out Saya had awakened from a 30-year sleep and was thrust into a world she knew absolutely nothing about, filled with only bloodshed and sadness. She had no idea what she’d just gotten thrown in the middle of, especially this resounding notion that she was supposedly supposed to be sort’ve immortal super being made just to kill these monsters! Her. Now, not remembering your past alone is hard enough on a girl, but this? This is just crazy!

It’s a great series. It’s pretty much all about Saya trying to piece together her shattered past while going through all sorts of hell while trying to take out all these monsters.

A whole lot more goes on and there’s a whole bunch more twists and turns as the story unfolds, but telling you any more of that and you’ll be mad that I spoiled it for you! So, I’ll just try to generalize it a bit for you. 🙂

Basically, it’s an action series, there’s a lot of drama involved too, but mostly action and lots and lots of killing and gore. While I wouldn’t say it’s the best series I’ve ever watched, it was definitely fun to watch and I never found myself bored throughout the course of the 50 episode series. To keep me entertained for that long, that’s a pretty good accomplishment. More than that, I’m happy to say that Blood+, unlike many other animes, actually ends in a very resolved fashion that doesn’t leave you angry, confused or felt let down like the writers just gave up or the series lost funding and got cut off in the middle. You feel like it actually came to some sort of conclusion and you can be happy about having watched it. Of course, there’s just a tiny little bit of uncertainty left, hinting that maybe sometime in the future there could be another season. But overall, it feels pretty well done.

The animation is great, the series has a very good English dub (although the after-credits, what’s to come on the next episode, stuff was never dubbed), and it’ll keep you entertained. It has a pretty good, and unique story. I’d definitely recommend watching it if you’re into blood, vampires and seeing stuff slashed to all hell with swords.

Posted by: Tiffany | March 25, 2010

His And Her Circumstances

aka Kare Kano

The series is about the female protagonist Yukino Miyazawa who is the absolute perfect student who’s beautiful, has the top grades in her school and everyone adores her. She’s always the best at everything. Except… she’s not really like that. In reality, she’s the queen of vanity and just loves to hear people praise her. She’s been like that ever since she was little, and she transforms when she comes home and just acts like herself. As she enters highschool as a freshmen, there’s a new student named Soichiro Arima, who just happend to catch her attention by ruining her grand entrance by getting better entrance exam scores than her and becoming the class rep, or something like that… Everyone’s attention started gravitating around Arima instead of her, and it really pissed her off. She hated him. Everything had to be about her, and it always was, but now there was someone she had to compete with!? He became her mortal enemy, and so the story was born.

Of course, eventually all of that is shattered when Arima confesses his love for Yukino and then she eventually realizes she likes him too. And thus, the story is born and kicks off. Of course, she doesn’t realize this until after turning him down and then him unexpectedly showing up at her house one day to offer her a cd she’d mentioned she’d liked to borrow – some classical crap she really didn’t care about, but was the perfect elegant thing to say. Of course, she was anything but elegant when she came busting out the door, drop kicking Arima (who she thought must be her sister) in the chest wearing the most ridiculous outfit you could imagine when comparing her to what she’s like at school. And well, lots of stuff happens after that!

Well, I’ll start off to say that this is a really good, cute, heartwarming series. There’s nothing sad in it, and it’s hilarious at times. You’ll absolutely fall in love with the characters and really get into the story. I have to say though, it’s absolutely excellent up till about episode 18 or so. After that, it kind’ve goes down hill. Not for the normal reasons one might expect though.

Towards the end it becomes pretty evident that the creators were running out of money.  Over half of episode 24 was all recaps, episode 19 was stop-motion with terrible paper cut outs. Episodes 14 and 15 are both completely recaps. There were a few more big portions of episodes taken up by recaps… They even ran the title sequence again in episode 24 just to take up more time. The animation became considerably worse after episode 18 as well. It eventually improved a bit, but never really matched what it started as. The beginning third of episode 25 is yet another filler waste of time. The rest is about Yukinon’s little sister and some bizarre stalker thing. It’s cute and all, but has absolutely nothing to do with the story whatsoever. It doesn’t progress it at all. And with as few episodes left as the series had at that point, it was in serious need of some development to happen. It continued yet again on the very last episode. It starts off with real camera footage, and then goes on to stop animation and stills with little relevance to the story and it seems like their budget for voice acting was getting lower as well, since a good 90% of it you had to read. It continues on like that, for the rest of it you’re pretty much reading a manga, except with some annoying boy and girl narrator saying random things that have no relevance whatsoever to what’s written on the scene, so it just disrupts what you’re trying to read. To make it very clear: If you don’t pause the video constantly, you’re going to miss what’s going on completely. This goes on for the first 3/4th’s of the final episode. Then at which point, there’s a brief couple minutes of relevant animation that’s halfway decent, but then it goes back to the manga reading crap. It really pisses me off.

But, since so much time was wasted with silly nothingness, recaps and fillers, the series is left with a very unfinished unsatisfying feeling. There’s no clear ending and things are left undone. In other words, it really pissed me off. But, overall… It was a really good series, if you look past all the crap the creators pulled. It has really cute lovable characters, and for some reason I just love some of the expressions Yukinon makes. Her friends called her Yukinon, so that’s why I’ve been doing it. I’m not sure why… since her name was Yukino Miyazawa.

Anyways, I’ll give this one a pretty good rating on my end, even though there was a lot of half-assed crap the animators did that just really pissed me off. I guess it can’t be helped. The first 18 episodes or so are lovable and nice enough.

Posted by: Tiffany | March 22, 2010

Kisaku Spirit

This one was pretty short, just 3 episodes. It’s called an OVA, but the episodes were only 24 mins long each, so there wasn’t really a whole lot to it. It was a hentai.

Basically this really perverted sex fiend of a guy who raped all sorts of girls throughout his life died, and they’re all still afraid of him and looking over their shoulders. But, it turns out he’s floating around as a ghost and there’s a guy that looks just like him, except the guy is good natured. Eventually he figures out he can possess the guy, and then lots and lots of sex ensues. The evil guy goes right back to his perverted girl raping ways, tormenting their lives once again.

That’s basically the premise of the show.

It wasn’t really that great as far as a plot goes. There was a lot of sex and the sex was animated pretty well I guess, and there was even anal sex, and lots of it. But, the plot was a little confusing and seemed totally unbelievable. Probably not something I’d recommend, but go ahead and watch it if you want.

Posted by: Tiffany | March 21, 2010

Kannazuki no Miko

I wanted to stab the guy in the face. Multiple times. I kinda felt bummed at the ending too, even though it’s technically a happy ending, it felt like a sad/crappy ending. I dunno… *shrug*

It had yuri* and I liked how the characters looked, and I even liked the mechas, but somehow I managed to come out of this anime… angry? I guess that’s how I could describe it. I don’t know, it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t like I really liked it either I guess. I did notice I was yelling “DIE DIE, GO AWAY. DIE, I HATE YOU!” at my monitor at a couple of points (ehm, a lot) while watching this though. Sooo, I’m not sure lol.

I guess I’d probably give the series like a 6/10 or so, just because I came out of it so utterly confused that I don’t know if I liked it or not.

*= Girl-on-girl romance. I love yuri.

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There are a massive amount of spoilers following this statement. To read them, highlight everything between the two SPOILERS ALERTS. You have been warned!

Alright so… For my full synopsis of the story, riddled with spoilers, highlight the text below:
These two girls are childhood friends, the world they’re in is basically this town and a some surrounding area protected by a magic bubble so that nothing can harm anything inside. They know they’re in this bubble. As the story goes, it had something to do with a sword god and some other evil god, and blah blah unimportant. Fun stuff.

Right so, as we go along it turns out that it’s not so unimportant. In fact, apparently the barrier breaks, and although there is (I guess?) nobody else on their world, the fun starts. While nobody from the outside comes in, a couple individuals in their town go, ehm… How should I say, evil? Yeah, evil. Well, as it turns out reincarnation is common in this town and the story about whenever ago, there were such and such amount of baddies that had the beliefs of the evil god. Well, whenever whatever happened… happened… The dark god woke up I suppose, then these baddies that weren’t particularly bad or anything, just normal people, started to become evil again. Oh and they were able to summon their mechas.

Yeah, mechas in this tiny little town. All hell broke loose as you can imagine. Well, this guy (who I’d love to just stab in the face with <insert any kind of knife/sharp thing/blunt object here>) has a total crush on the girl the evil bad guy in the huge mecha is attacking. Well, turns out he’s an Orochi too (that’s what these evil reincarnate guys are called). So, he pulls out his big mecha doo-hickey and fights him and swears to always protect the girl, even though he has to fight against the really huge instinct to kill her due to his evil incarnate doo-wa-diddy that he apparently has. And so he does, he wins and such. Wouldn’t be much of a story if he died already and the main character along with him, hmpf… So anyways, he wins. She lives. Ding.

Right so, moving on. Next up, while the girl in question(blonde girl) is passed out , we find out the other main character (blacked haired girl) loves her and passionately kisses her while she’s unconscious. She, of course, never finds out.

So then, blah blah, a bunch of stuff happens. Kinda unimportant, it’s mostly about the whole romance thing in this… Well, yeah. So anyways, it introduced the evil baddies some and whatnot, but whatever, onto the relationship…

The good-Orochi-thingy-guy (stab him in the face) decides to ask her out, and she accepts. She even goes to her best friend for advice! Oh and she’s living with her best friend (who is filthy rich and has a huge mansion and maids) because her dorm was destroyed by the big evil baddie mecha attack from earlier. Hmm… I feel like I’ve left something important out. Oh well.

So anyways, black hair girl is super upset but hides it perfectly and acts very supportive of her friend, but she starts shutting off more and more as time goes on and crying when she’s alone.

Hmm, yeah anyways, those two discover they’re the reincarnates of the good girls, these shrine-maiden-thingies and they have these weird solar/lunar glowy-tattoo-doo-hickeys. One’s solar, the other’s lunar. Blonde’s solar, black hair’s lunar. Anywho, they learn that it’s their job to summon the sword god thingy guy which was locked up and only they can unlock him with some bizarre shinto chant thing, and they have to wear these kimono looking shinto priestess outfits while they do it because it amplifies their priestess-thingy-powers. So they’re working on that and stuff… failing hard.

So anyways, blonde girl keeps dating the guy, black haired girl keeps getting worse and worse emotionally until she finally tells her friend. Then I don’t really remember what happened… Come to think of it, maybe she didn’t tell her… maybe she just came on really strong onto her, and kinda ended up raping her because she couldn’t stand it anymore. Weird.

And so, after that… Oh, before that… The good Orochi (hate him)-guy defeated a couple of the mecha guys, but they were still alive with their mechas for the most part. Except that first guy, he’s dead Jim. lol 🙂

Oh and after the “I love you” -> rapeeee scene, since blondie wasn’t all “Oh, I love you too! I was do stupid… rape me more” or anything, the black haired girl becomes a bad guy too.

Eh well, she just goes and kills all the other bad guys, then challenges her blonde friend that she loves to meet her somewhere or something. Then dickwad, er– I mean that one guy… wants to come with her. (gosh, can you tell I hate him?) I mean, okay… He’s really a good guy, but seeing how much it’s hurting the black haired girl though the entire series, you just really want him to go the fuck away and die in a small hole somewhere, after getting stabbed in the face.

Unfortunately that never happens.

But she does end up killing all the bad guys and becoming the only Orochi, and so she ends up absorbing all the other Orochi-thingy-guys’ mechas and her mecha becomes the evil god-thingy-guy, but at this point the blonde girl has raised the sword god guy, and fuckwad is in it and fights with the black haired girl, who has turned evil, but we still love. But, he doesn’t really fight her. The evil god-thingy-guy-mecha fights him by itself.

Instead, blonde girl gets pulled into some special little reality thing with just the black haired girl… She refuses to fight and asks why she’s doing this and she won’t fight her and she loves her too and she wants to be together with her and she should just stop and they can be together. But, the black haired girl keeps going on until something..something… Oh, I think she said something about destroying the world or something. And so, the blonde haired girl stabs her. Oh, I forgot to mention they were fighting with katanas… Yeah, so anyways she stabs her. Then she’s like “whyyy!!!” and so the black haired girl comes out and tells her it was just a clever ruse to make her kill her, even though she really does love her and wishes they could be together, but it was the only way. As it turns out, the black haired girl has regained her memory and so she shows the blonde haired girl this memory.

Turns out to end the god-war-thingy after the evil-Orochi-guy is defeated by the Sword-god-mecha-doo-hickey, they have to sacrifice one of the shrine maiden’s lives to re-seal him and the other guy, or maybe just him, whatever, I dunno, it’s bad. Anyways, so that’s why she wanted her to kill her, because she killed her in their past life and she didn’t want to ever do that again, so she thought it would be better to get her to hate her so she’d kill her instead.

But, it turns out the blonde girl really, really loves her, and won’t let her die. So, they decide to be together and go visit all sorts of places (but it’s just inside this illusion, even though it seems real), and they really love each other so much, and the blonde girl even tells her that she didn’t know why she cried when she kissed the guy the one time she did, but now she realizes it was because she really knew that she loved her and she couldn’t shake that feeling.

Anyways, the black haired girl dies and the blonde girl’s memory for some reason has to be purged of all traces of her and she’s even taken out of all of their pictures together. But before she died, she promised even though she may forget about her, she’ll never forget how she feels about her, no matter what. So, she never does. Her friends thinks it’s weird, but she won’t date anyone because she’s waiting for someone. That fuckwad guy even asks her out again (he didn’t remember anything about anything either, nobody did), and she turns him down (FUCK YEAH!) and tells him she’s waiting for someone and he should find someone that can really give her heart to him.

Then at the last second of the last episode, it’s yearsss later and she’s walking down the street when she sees a girl with the same little pink seashell necklace as her… She’d always said that one day she’d find the seashell that was the only one in the world that was the perfect match to hers, and that was how she thought about love too, somewhere there was someone that was that perfect match just for her. And well, when she saw that girl with that seashell neckless just like hers, a one of a kind, the perfect match… They both just stopped in the street and looked at each other, kinda like… “You’re the one I’ve been waiting for…” And so, that’s where it ends. It’s kind of assumed they finally can be together and live out the rest of their lives happily.

So, technically it’s a happy ending… but, I still teared up writing this. It’s really… sad. Why? Because after you see everything they had to go through, for her to just die when they finally realize their love for each other and then on top of all that, to lose all memory of it… it’s just heart tearing. Even if they did meet again, that blonde girl had to go probably 16+ years of her life all alone, waiting for her true love.

So, yeah… While the characters were super cute and I loved those two girls, the way the end was done, the fucked up almost-end before the actual end, somehow made me come out of it so fucking confused that I’m not sure if I actually liked the anime or not, but I definitely recall shouting obscenities at my screen just about every time that guy was with the girl, all fucking up their shiet.

So, since I’m so confused and not sure if I liked it or not, I can only really give it a 6/10. It’d be 5/10 or lower, but it gets a little more because I love the two leads and they’re adorable and it’s a yuri. ❤ girl on girl love.

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